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Adult film industry trials burnable content

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NSFW A leading US provider of hard-core porn plans to sell downloadable films that customers can turn into DVDs and watch on their TVs. Vivid reckons the approach will increase online sales by attracting punters who'd rather knock one off while watching TV rather than staring at a computer screen.

Piracy fears and the possibility of alienating existing sales channels have caused both porn producers and mainstream Hollywood studios to be reluctant about testing "burnable" films. Attitudes are changing, however, and as with many new areas of technology, such as streaming media and home video, the adult entertainment industry is once again at the forefront of adopting new technology.

Vivid plans to begin selling burnable movies through online distribution service CinemaNow from 8 May. CinemaNow began offering a selection of adult films as streaming media downloads late last year that incorporated features such as pay-per-minute movie rentals. The evolution of this service will see around 30 Vivid titles offered at $19.95 a throw. The downloads will include all the material that features on a DVD, encoded using copy-protection technology in order to deter piracy.

Mainstream Hollywood is also trialling the technology. Earlier this month, a number of studios agreed to sell films online through CinemaNow and rival service Movielink. Consumers can download and view films including King Kong and Brokeback Mountain using the service. But unlike Vivid's offering, they can't burn content onto DVDs in a form that can be viewed on TV.

Other producers of high-quality smut, such as Red Light District, plan to introduce a similar service. Skin flick studios are interested in pushing online distribution because it helps remove the stigma of buying DVDs from back street stores, while reducing the distribution costs of producers. DVDs account for around 34 per cent of sales in the adult entertainment industry, the global revenue of which hit an estimated $12.6bn last year. ®

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